BOXING boff Iwan Evans (@IwanEvans19) is back to cover the busy Saturday schedule with three knockout bets from the coupon.
Amnat Ruenroeng v Zou Shiming | Saturday 15.00 | Box Nation
An all-action Saturday of boxing starts in China on Saturday afternoon, as the hugely popular home favourite Zou Shiming (6-0, 1 KO's) looks to claim his first world title, challenging Thailand's Amnat Ruenroeng for his IBF flyweight title.
Shiming is an absolute star in his home country, having won a Gold Medal at his home Olympics in Bejing 2008, and then four years later, he ironically beat a Thai fighter in the London final.
Turning pro in April 2013, Shiming didn’t catch the eye immediately but he's starting to really progress now and promoters Top Rank are preparing him for big things, starting this weekend at the Cotai Arena in Macao.
Shiming trains at Freddie Roach's Wild Card gym in Los Angeles and there's evident development being made under the star trainer. He seemed to be hitting harder last time out, dominating the unbeaten Thai fighter Kwanipichit Onesongchaigym, scoring multiple knockdowns in a wide points verdict.
This is a bigger test mind as he faces old amateur foe Amnat Ruenroeng, who's back story is absolutely sensational. Having turned his life around from drug addiction and a jail sentence for armed robbery, Ruenroeng has gone on to become a world champion.
Amnat is an incredibly talented fighter with very quick hands and feet, and the first time he met Shiming in the amateurs, he scored a victory. However the next two, the Chinese man got his revenge, and I do feel he'll be coming out victorious once again here.
The 35-year-old Thai has made two defences of his title, and won both on a split decision, which suggests he's made hard work of those victories. One of those victories was over in Japan, which he deserves credit for and makes him a live and dangerous opponent here. His last performance against dangerous Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo wasn't the best though, and he was put down in the 6th round.
I think this fight will go the distance. Neither hits that hard and both are technically based boxers, who fight in a pretty similar way. With this bout being in China and given Shiming's amateur pedigree, I expect him to be awarded the decision on all three judges scorecards. Zou Shiming to win a Unanimous Decision can be backed at 5/6 with Ladbrokes.
Tommy Coyle v Martin Gethin | Saturday 22.00 | Sky Sports 1
Sky Sports televise a live show from one of my favourite venues, the Hull Ice Arena on Saturday night where a clash between local man Tommy “Boom Boom” Coyle (20-2, 9 KO's) and Walsall's ex-British lightweight champion Martin Gethin (25-6-1, 11 KO's) headlines the bill.
Coyle is on a great run of form at the minute, having sensationally knocked out Michael Katsidis in front of his adoring fans last time out. But this is a tricky clash for him, especially as there's pressure to win, given a huge Hull derby with Olympic Gold medallist Luke Campbell, looks set for the summer.
SkyBet have priced that fight up already and have Luke as the 1/5 favourite, which kind of tells you where the two are in terms of technical ability. But Tommy can do a little bit of everything and he's massive for the 135lbs, which makes him a threat to anyone domestically.
Coyle has the capability to outbox his opponents with a solid jab and good lateral movement. He produced it for 9 ¾ rounds against Derry Matthews in July 2013, only for his aggression to cost him dearly as the Liverpool fighter knocked him out in the 10th with a sensational left hook.
Gethin will hope Coyle will come out all guns blazing here, as you can't see the man from the Midlands being able to win a fight on the outside with Tommy.
Martin's on a bad run of form at the minute; he did win his last fight on a 5th round Technical Decision against decent journeyman Kevin McCauley, but before that he had suffered consecutive defeats at British title level to the aforementioned Matthews (SD12), and highly rated Manchester lightweight Terry Flanagan (RTD7).
That bout with Flanagan saw him completely outboxed by the quicker “Turbo”, and it was with a badly swollen right ear that saw Gethin give it up.
“The Quiet Man” has a solid chin, he can take a shot for sure, but he looks a fighter on the way down and it's a surprise to see him down at 135lbs again, given he had said his future was going to be at Light Welterweight. The cheque offered to him by Eddie Hearn has clearly tempted him, but given he weighed in at 147lbs in his last contest, you have to wonder how easy he's got down to the weight.
I see this fight ending in a stoppage victory for Coyle; he'll box cautiously over the first few rounds and that will give Gethin hope. However, I can see Tommy raising his game over the middle-late rounds and with little left in the tank, Gethin will struggle to maintain the pace.
Keith Thurman v Robert Guerrero | Sunday 03.00 | Box Nation
Finally late Saturday night, infamous boxing advisor Al Haymon's new TV Series Premier Boxing Champions kicks-off with much fanfare on NBC in the United States, with two of the world's best Welterweights Keith “One Time” Thurman (24-0, 21 KO's) facing Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, with Keith's WBA title on the line.
Thurman is a potentially massive star; the guy has the lot in terms of ability, given he's magnificent technically, with sound ring craft, hand speed and lateral movement, as well as concussive power, with a terrific KO% of 84%.
His last performance on the undercard of Amir Khan's victory over Devon Alexander left many experts underwhelmed, however I was incredibly impressed with him as he comfortably beat European champion Leonard Bundu over 12 one-sided rounds. His boxing ability really shone through that night and I think the harder the challenge, the better we'll see from Thurman.
This is certainly his hardest challenge to date; Guerrero has won a version of a world title at four different weights and has a fantastic engine and grit in abundance.
Floyd Mayweather gave him a hell of a beating in May 2013,and he didn't return to the ring for 13 months, facing unknown Japanese boxer Yoshihiro Kamegai, in what proved to be one of the most thrilling fights of 2014. It was an absolute slugfest and showed the best and worst of Guerrero, who's defence wasn't the best but threw an unbelievable amount of shots, earning a 12 round unanimous decision victory in the end.
Thurman is naturally the bigger guy in this matchup, given Guerrero started his career as a Featherweight, but he's grown into the Welterweight division well and has recently started using Cross Fit training as part of his pre-fight preparation, which seems to have certainly made him a better athlete as well.
Florida's Thurman is the better boxer though in my opinion, and although facing a Southpaw is never easy, I fancy him to get the victory on points which can be backed at a best price of 5/4 with Ladbrokes.
Amnat Ruenroeng v Zou Shiming – . Zou Shiming to win a Unanimous Decision (5/6 Ladbrokes)
Tommy Coyle v Martin Gethin – Tommy Coyle to win between Rounds 10-12 (9/1 Bet365)
Tommy Coyle v Martin Gethin – Tommy Coyle to win between Rounds 7-12 (11/5 Ladbrokes)
Keith Thurman v Robert Guerrero – Keith Thurman to win on points (5/4 Ladbrokes)
Do you have a view on this weekend’s boxing? Is Iwan on the right lines?
We’d love to hear what you’re backing so let us know in the comments box below.